Charleston is a city in Mississippi County, Missouri, United States. The population was 5,947 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mississippi County. It is a home to a local correctional facility.
Charleston is the biggest town on the Missouri side near the confluence of the Mississippi River and Ohio River at Bird's Point, Missouri (11 miles east on U.S. Route 60). Its history has been tied to traffic on the rivers.
Settlement initially occurred on the north side in what in 1805 was called Matthews Prairie.
After purchasing 22.5 acres (91,000 m²) for $337, Joseph Moore laid out Charleston in 1837. Some say the community derives its name from nearby Charles Prairie, while others believe the name is a transfer from Charleston, South Carolina. In 1845, it was selected as the county seat and a post office named Charleston has been in operation since 1847.
Charleston is situated in northwestern Mississippi County, a few miles west of the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Ohio River at Bird's Point. Interstate 57 passes through Charleston, connected it with southern Illinois across the Mississippi River to the northeast, and Interstate 55 near Sikeston to the west. U.S. Route 62 and Missouri Route 105 intersect near downtown Charleston.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.86 square miles (12.59 km²), of which, 4.80 square miles (12.43 km²) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km²) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,947 people, 1,705 households, and 1,107 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,239.0 inhabitants per square mile (478.4/km²). There were 1,883 housing units at an average density of 392.3 per square mile (151.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.55% White, 50.45% Black or African American, 0.03% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.61% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.78% of the population.
There were 1,705 households of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.5% were married couples living together, 25.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.1% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.05.
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